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Toasted Almond Truffles
Recipe adapted from Rick and Michael Mast, "Mast Brother's Chocolate: A Family Cookbook" (Little, Brown)
Yield: 24 truffles
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus chilling time
½ cup heavy cream
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces dark chocolate, melted and tempered (see notes)
1 cup almonds, toasted and minced
1. Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Place chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the cream over it. Let melt for 1 minute. Stir with a spatula in tight circles from the center outward. Let the mixture cool to 108 degrees, then stir in the butter until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll ganache by hand into large, grape-size spheres.
2. Coat the truffles: Dip the ganache in the tempered chocolate. Let set for a few seconds, then roll the rounds in the chopped almonds. Cool until the coating has set.
Note: To temper chocolate, roughly chop the chocolate. Melt three-fourths of the chocolate in the top of a double boiler to 115 to 118 degrees, stirring constantly. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the heat. Add the remaining chocolate, a few pieces at a time, stirring constantly, until the temperature of the chocolate reduces to 83 degrees. If pieces of chocolate remain, use an immersion blender to smooth them out. Put the bowl of chocolate back onto the double boiler, and bring the temperature of the chocolate to between 88 to 90 degrees, stirring constantly. Use as coating immediately. If you choose not to temper the chocolate, simply melt it over a double boiler until just melted, then dip truffles in. The chocolate won't have the same snap or sheen to it, and will take longer to dry.